06: This is Our Emergency

March 11th, 2020. The World Health Organization officially declares Covid-19 as a Pandemic.

The virus spreads from human to human quickly, so we have been asked to sacrifice our social lives and extra curriculars in exchange for a healthy society. The gathering sizes fluctuate like the weather, so we are always refreshing the screen for updates that allow for our release back to normality.

We have been tasked with washing our hands, covering our faces with masks, and staying a social distance apart at all times (6 feet). The flu season has been lessened by these practices, illustrating how our society has grown complacent with basic hygiene practices in years prior, and this should be a lesson to us indefinitely. Now, these simple tasks are saving people from getting sick all together, but the moment we let down our guard, the moment we are unmasked and in close quarters, the virus steps in. As long as there is live virus in our society, it can spread to you. The only way to thwart it is to sever its means of transmission, so stand back, mask up, and stay clean.

The villain is the virus, we are the soldiers who take up hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes instead of guns to wage a resistance against this indiscriminate invisible enemy. This call to arms is non-violent and all the more life saving. I am hopeful that the majority of our society will do the right thing, but let this be a reminder, we are still dealing with this virus because the rules have been ignored.

I thought people would be grateful not to go to war. Instead, I am saddened to find citizens reluctant to follow these life saving measures strictly because they feel they are “tired” of the virus. We would all like to go back to “normal” but we cannot get there unless all of society conforms to the solution. Those that break the rules are the cracks in the dam that will one day break and consume us all if we do not enforce heavier restrictions or fines for those that feel they are somehow above the rules.

The sacrifices we make today and every day will be for the greater good. And I can barely call them sacrifices.

Unable to see friends? Long distance relationships have existed prior to this. Get creative.

Unable to share communal guacamole with a room full of strangers of various levels of sobriety? Are you sure you miss this?

Unable to see your family who already lives miles away? The phone/internet worked the rest of the time. Didn’t it?

Unable to fill crowded venues, pressed into the bodies of foul smelling strangers, all for the experience of a show which everyone is already framing through their cellular phones? Can’t say I’m missing those.

Unable to inject yourself into a stranger’s life as they sit at the bar alone? The internet should be a decent replacement for this.

Unable to recognize that if we had just followed the rules to begin with it could be over by now? Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So, it is January 15th, 2021. The virus has taken the lives of nearly 2 million people around the world, and infected almost 100 million people world wide. People have lost so much, and it has not even been a full year.

What are you doing to help eradicate the virus?

Ask yourself this every day. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and limit your interaction with society to the essentials. We don’t have food rationing or bomb drills, we have clean hands and “no thrills”.

Now is the time to get creative. Whether through differing means of communication or artistic expression, now is the time for you to realize that the “normal” structure you’re so fondly pining for wasn’t perfect for everyone in it. Perhaps there are things in your life, too, that you wouldn’t wish to have back, they are just there, but why?

Now is the time to make something NEW. You are not beholden to the past, so take on the task of making the world, your world, better than it was before March 11th, 2020. And anything you cannot enact within the current restrictions, find a way to make it happen safely. You may even surprise yourself, you may find you are not bored at all.

So, for all of those who have felt they are following the rules and are perplexed by those who seem to be bad apples for life, remember that we need good examples, and we will follow your lead, however slowly, and thank you. Thank you for doing the right thing, when it is so easy (for some) to be upset by the restrictions rather than directing their energy to the solution.

We can save the world by wearing masks, washing hands, and staying apart.

We should be humbled in the realization that such simple tasks can save lives; human lives are spared via these actions, so small yet so powerful. You can be a life saver. This is your chance to feel powerful instead of helpless.

Are you up for it?

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